Welcome to wonderful Whitby. This coastal town has something special, and has long been popular with visitors to Yorkshire’s Coast, owing to it’s delightful harbour, which is surrounded by pretty houses and accommodation, restaurants and fun things to do. All this splendour is overlooked by historic Whitby Abbey, and alongside a sandy beach.
The town is famous for its association with Bram Stoker‘s Dracula, English explorer Captain James Cook and the mysterious Whitby Jet. Visitors can stroll along the harbour walls, from where seals, dolphins and porpoises can be seen as little fishing boats chug by. A boat ride is highly recommended. See our article on unusual things to do in Whitby.
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Places to Stay in Whitby
The following hotels are in or very close to Whitby. Also see our range of pet friendly hotels in Whitby.
There’s more hotels to choose from in Whitby. Click here to view them all. You may also be interested in Whitby apartments.
Self Catering Holiday Cottages
Below you can see a small sample of the many great holiday cottages in Whitby. Click here to view them all. Also see the range of B&Bs in Whitby.
Events in Whitby
Date & Time:March 3rd, 2024 7:30pm
Date & Time:March 6th, 2024 7:00pm
Date & Time:June 7th, 2024 6:30pm
Date & Time:July 20th, 2024 7:30pm
Date & Time:February 25th, 2024 5:00pm
Whitby is one of the most famous and popular seaside towns in Yorkshire.
Whitby is split by the River Esk. On the East Cliff, overlooking the North Sea, the ruined Gothic Whitby Abbey was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for “Dracula”. Nearby is the Church of St. Mary, reached by 199 steps.
The Captain Cook Memorial Museum, in the house where Cook once lived, displays paintings and maps.
West of town is West Cliff Beach, lined with beach huts.
As well as being the birthplace of some of modern history’s best known stories, Whitby has a maritime, mineral and tourist heritage.
Tourism started in Whitby during the Georgian period and developed with the arrival of the railway in 1839. Its attraction as a tourist destination is enhanced by the proximity of the high ground of the North York Moors national park and the heritage coastline and by association with the horror novel Dracula.
For industry, as well as fishing, Jet and alum were mined locally, and Whitby jet, which was mined by the Romans and Victorians, became fashionable during the 19th century.
The abbey ruin at the top of the East Cliff is the town’s oldest and most prominent landmark.
Other significant features include the swing bridge, which crosses the River Esk and the harbour, which is sheltered by the grade II listed East and West piers.
The town’s maritime heritage is commemorated by statues of Captain Cook and William Scoresby, as well as the whalebone arch that sits at the top of the West Cliff.
The town also has a strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema.
Whitby on the Map
Whitby has a train station, at the end of a branch line from Middlesbrough, and is on the main A171 road which runs from Middlesbrough to Scarborough. There is a junction in the middle of the town with the A174 which follows the coast more closely, through the towns of Saltburn, Marske and Redcar.
Is Whitby worth visiting?
Short answer: yes! A compact, historic harbour town with bustling cafe’s, restaurants, steps up to an ancient abbey and glorious sea views.
What is Whitby famous for?
Who is the most famous person in Whitby?
Captain Cook – Captain James Cook is famous for his discovery of Australia. He was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, captain in the British Royal Navy and most likely one of Whitby’s most famous people.
Why is Whitby famous for Dracula?
Novelist, Bram Stoker, stayed in Whitby and used the ancient ruins of the abbey overlooking the cliffs as the setting for his gothic horror “Dracula”.
What is the best time of year to visit Whitby?
The summer months of June to August are the most popular times to visit Whitby, but the town is also beautiful in the spring and autumn when the crowds are smaller.
Are there any haunted places in Whitby?
Yes, Whitby is said to be one of the most haunted towns in England, with ghost stories associated with the abbey, the town’s narrow streets, and even some of the local pubs.
Whitby Fact Pack
- Whitby is a seaside town in North Yorkshire, England.
- The town has a population of around 13,000 people.
- Whitby is known for its picturesque harbour, stunning cliff-top views, and historic abbey ruins.
- The town has a rich history, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Bronze Age.
- Whitby is famous for its association with Captain James Cook, who served his apprenticeship in the town.
- The town is home to several famous landmarks, including the Whitby Abbey, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, and the Whitby Museum.
- Whitby is a popular destination for holidaymakers, with a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages.
- The town is famous for its seafood, particularly its smoked kippers, which are a local delicacy.
- Whitby is also famous for its jet jewellery, which is made from fossilized wood found in the cliffs and beaches around the town.
- The town has a thriving cultural scene, with several art galleries and museums, including the Pannett Art Gallery and the Whitby Art Society.
- Whitby is a popular location for music festivals and events, including the Whitby Folk Week and the Whitby Goth Weekend.
- The town has a strong connection to Bram Stoker‘s “Dracula,” with the author having stayed in the town and used it as the setting for parts of his famous novel.
- Whitby has a range of outdoor activities available, including surfing, fishing, and hiking in the nearby North York Moors National Park.
- The town has several beautiful beaches, including the West Cliff Beach and the Tate Hill Beach.
- Whitby is a great base for exploring the rest of North Yorkshire, with excellent transport links to nearby towns and cities.
- The town has a rich maritime history, with fishing and shipbuilding being key industries throughout its history.
- Whitby is home to several beautiful parks and gardens, including the Pannett Park and the Whitby Museum Garden.
- The town is a popular destination for walkers, with several coastal and countryside walks available in the surrounding area.
- Whitby is home to several historic churches and chapels, including St. Mary’s Church and the Whitby Baptist Church.
- The town has several excellent restaurants and cafes, serving a range of local and international cuisine.
- Whitby is a popular location for film and TV productions, with several notable productions having been filmed in the town, including “Dracula” and the TV series “Heartbeat.”
- The town has a strong connection to the fishing industry, with several fishing boats still operating from the harbour.
- Whitby is home to several historic buildings, including the Whitby Jet Works, which has been in operation since the 19th century.
- The town has a range of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Whitby Regatta and the Whitby Pirate Festival.
- Whitby is a beautiful and historic town, with a unique character and charm that make it a must-visit destination on the North Yorkshire coast.
Where Next After Whitby
After visiting Whitby, North Yorkshire, there are several other places in the area that are worth exploring. One such place is the North York Moors National Park, which is just a short drive away. This stunning park is home to rolling hills, picturesque villages, and breathtaking views. Visitors can hike, bike, or simply take a leisurely drive through the park to take in the scenery.
Another great place to visit in the area is the city of York. This historic city is home to a wealth of attractions, including the iconic York Minster, the Jorvik Viking Centre, and the York Castle Museum. Visitors can also explore the city’s medieval walls, stroll through the charming Shambles district, or enjoy a pint in one of the city’s many traditional pubs.
Finally, for those interested in history, a visit to the nearby town of Scarborough is a must. This seaside town is home to a number of historic sites, including Scarborough Castle and the Rotunda Museum. Visitors can also enjoy the town’s beautiful beaches, take a stroll along the promenade, or sample some of the local seafood.